ABC Cutting at the Sassoon Academy, Toronto, Ontario

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As most people know by now, I am moving to Texas at the end of the week.  So most of my cold weather clothing is either in storage or donated by now and I kind of forgot how crisp the air would be in Toronto when I booked my class.  The weather was mostly gorgeous but, man, was I cold and bitter when we first got into our apartment there!  But mostly, it was beautiful fall weather, and with our move date uncertain for so long, I wasn’t really sure if I would truly get another fall.

IMG_1932We spent our first day there taking a long walk from Chinatown to downtown and hopped a ferry to Toronto Island.  The view was amazing and the weather was beautiful despite needing to bundle up.

IMG_1938Gorgeous view from the ferry!
IMG_1950But enough about us, let’s get on to the education!
IMG_1961I consider myself very fortunate!  There were only four students (including myself) and we had three different teachers throughout the week.  For me, this was the ideal situation.  Each teacher had slightly different tastes and preferences and I feel like I learned a lot from each of them.  Gina was our teacher on the first day.  She had been with the academy the longest (maybe 16 years?  I don’t remember exactly) and gave us a lot of background about the Toronto Academy, which is very highly regarded among the Sassoon Academies.  For example, every year each of the Sassoons submit a collection on a $0 budget and Toronto has won the competition the last three years in a row.  Gina had an incredible knack for reading hair and working with it creatively.  She also went through all the foundation information, correcting some things I’ve had backwards in my brain.  In beauty school I trained with Paul Mitchell, so the Sassoon techniques and shapes were similar to what I had learned with, but in some ways actually less rigid, which surprised me.  Everything as very relate-able to actual cuts we would do in the salon.  She also demo-ed some cool hair cuts.

IMG_2007Day 2 we had Karen demo-ing and then our first models.  Karen is a very cool, very funny and down to earth stylist.  She talked to us about tips on keeping our techniques crisp and places of emphasis on the face for our cutting lines.  It’s always nice for me to see a teacher about my height because I can snag some body position tips from watching.

IMG_2018Then after lunch my first model came in, Madeliene.  She had very curly hair which hadn’t been cut in over three months.  This was a tricky first haircut for me because I always cut curly hair with very low tension and I point cut a lot!  High tension + straight lines in textured hair… oh my!

IMG_2020IMG_2022But I got through it and I think she looked pretty good!  I don’t think I will be cutting Richard’s hair with high tension any time soon but maybe for curly lady hair..?  I’ll definitely give it a try.

A lot of my clients were ones I wouldn’t have thought to use Sassoon methods on, but I am glad I got to try it  with Karen and Paolo (our instructor for the last two days) looking over my shoulder and checking my work.  I will say, though, the models were a very good sampling of different types of client and types of hair that I would see in the salon, so it was definitely a very practical class.

IMG_2052And I even got to do two very classic bobs, which was one of the reasons I wanted to come to the Sassoon Academy.  Both above and below the models had extremely dense hair, the one above had very wavy hair.  These cuts both took a long time but I was very proud.  I’m glad Paolo was there to guide me through them and take two very extreme angled cuts with weird layering in areas and bring them to a more moderate, clean shape.
IMG_2072 IMG_2085Above Paolo is closing out the class with one final demo.  Paolo had a very calm but very direct demeanor and he was great to watch.  He showed me a lot of great finishing techniques on my dense-haired ladies.  And in general, it was great to just hear him talk about hair.

IMG_2096Final look for Paolo’s model.

IMG_2107Here I am with my classmates!  Jenna-Wade, Annah, me and Justine.

You can also see some of this trip featured in my latest video!

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